Ringil, the hero of the bloody slaughter at Gallows Gap, is a legend to all who don't know him and a twisted degenerate to those that do. A veteran of the wars against the lizards, he makes a living from telling credulous travellers of his exploits. Until one day he is pulled away from his life and into the depths of the Empire's slave trade. There, he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives.
Archeth - pragmatist, cynic and engineer, the last of her race - is called from her work at the whim of the most powerful man in the Empire and sent to its farthest reaches to investigate a demonic incursion against the Empire's borders.
Egar Dragonbane, steppe-nomad and one-time fighter for the Empire, finds himself entangled in a small-town battle between common sense and religious fervour. But out in the wider world, there is something on the move far more alien than any of his tribe's petty gods.
Anti-social, anti-heroic, and decidedly irritated, all three of them are about to be sent unwillingly forth into a vicious, vigorous, and thoroughly unsuspecting fantasy world.
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An enjoyable read, but not for the delicate
Good story, performance so-and-so
The plot is ok, pretty good gritty fantasy. It soon turns out to be a real page-turner. The world is well-built and original, with elements of science fiction. Characters are good, even if this novel feels like it is mainly setting the stage for what is to come.
At first, I was impressed by his performance. He has a good voice and it is always clear who is speaking. However, he does this by assigning any number of accents to the characters (except the two male protagonists, who - despite coming from very different backgrounds - get to speak without accent). He also portraits women by speaking in falsetto, which is not only demeaning, but also quite tiresome.
These mannerisms are bad in themselves, but they are even worse in this setting, where the female protagonist is tough as nails, but consistently performed as speaking in falsetto, with a rather forced accent. Also, this manner makes it clear who the performer considers to be foreign.
After a while I got so irritated that I bought the book and read the last third.
I have already started reading (not listening to) the next part (The Cold Commands). This far, it seems even better.
- Amazon Customer